Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Dixieland - Part 2........

Setting off early on Day 3 of our tour found us heading south to New Orleans, or N'awlins as Alice called it.

Our first stop was the Bay of Biloxi, the place Hurricane Katrina first made land.  Alice told us of the devastation Katrina had wreaked on Biloxi but the only evidence now was empty lots where people hadn't yet rebuilt, mainly because the insurance companies refused to pay out.  Alice told us that where people had insurance for flood damage the insurance companies claimed it was hurricane damage, and where people had insurance for hurricane damage the insurance companies claimed it was flood damage - eternal shame on them!

After Katrina, the mayor of Biloxi, A.J. Holloway, and Public Affairs Manager Vincent Creel spoke with Mississippi “chainsaw artist” Dayton Scoggins about sculpting marine-related figures from the dozens of standing dead trees in the median of Beach Boulevard in Biloxi like the one in the picture below.       Whilst living trees are always preferable, the scultured trees are beautiful too and a reminder of the resilience of Biloxi and a memorium to what happened when Katrina hit, do click on the link to see more sculptures.

Click on pics to biggify

Nearby was a living oak that survived Katrina.

There is a memorial to the people of Biloxo who lost their lives when Katrina hit, it lists the names of all the dead including the people that were never identified, they were named as John or Jane Doe, the missing are also named.

There was also a glass case containing personal belongings which were found in the debris after Katrina (see picture below), if you click here you can see the items detailed.   Seeing the memorial and the personal belongings was a very moving experience and we took a few minutes to pay our respects to the people who had lost their lives and applaud the courage of the survivors.

We walked around the harbour and took a photo of the boats anchored there

 and an island that was created after Katrina's devastation.

We also learned that the Hard Rock Casino was originally built on a raft on the water following state law, but after Katrina the law was changed so that it could be rebuilt on land to encourage tourists to return to Biloxi.  

MWM standing below the HRC guitar

Entrance to the Casino from the Memorabilia Hall

Some of the memoriabilia that was found by local residents and returned to the Hard Rock after Katrina was Elvis Presley's Army uniform, found on a mannequin floating in the Mississippi Sound, B.B. King's original guitar "Lucille", guitars from Dimebag Darrell, Johnny Cash, and Kiss, and clothing from Steve Tyler and Elton John.

Me checking out the memorabilia in the HRC

We continued our journey to New Orleans arriving at our destination just after midday and as we couldn't check into our rooms until 4 p.m. Jerome dropped us off in the centre of the French Quarter near the statue of Joan of Arc ( known as Joanie on the Pony locally) and the market.

We found a table outside on of the many cafes and had a delicious po-boy for lunch whilst listening to a jazz band playing before having a quick walk round to take some pictures before it was time to meet the coach again to take us to our hotel.

Two of the many balconies in the French Quarter

St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square, French Quarter, New Orleans

At 4p.m. we met Alice and Jerome at the appointed place and were taken to our hotel, The Sheraton on Canal Street, within a few minutes walk of Bourbon Street.   Alice had already checked us in, telling us, as she gave us our keys, that our luggage was already in our rooms and we should meet at 6 p.m. at the Blue Cow

in the foyer of the hotel.

for our first excursion in New Orleans, dinner on a Riverboat cruising the Mississippi whilst listening to a Jazz Band.

The hotel was just fabulous, here's the view from our room

and this view was quite unexpected


We all met up at 6 p.m. for the short journey to the Mississippi River to board the Sternwheel Steamboat Natchez

where we were entertained by the Calliope being played on the top deck.  (click here to hear it).  We had the obligitory photograph taken before we boarded and we liked it so much we bought it. (The picture - not the boat!!!!).

Once on board we were ushered into the dining room, where we enjoyed a buffet of southern cuisine, (you can see the menu here), which we thoroughly enjoyed before going out on deck

to watch the sun go down

and listen to the superb Dukes of Dixieland jazz band.

All too soon the Natchez returned to it's dock and it was time to board the coach again to go back to the Sheraton for a good night's sleep.   It was the end of a perfect first day in N'awlins.

Please join me for Dixieland - Part 3 for day 2 in N'awlins, coming soon.
Read Dixieland Part one here.

This will be my last post for a week or so, as we're off on another holiday on Friday, this time to Wales with our sons and grandchildren.   Of course I'll be taking lots of photographs.  Keep your fingers crossed for good weather for us, so that the grandchildren can spend all their time on the beach.


Anonymous said...

OMG I'm just so enjoying this tour of Dixieland. You know up at Lake Tahoe they have the MS Dixie...or was a paddle wheel boat and you could take the dinner cruise. It was a blast. I loved it and your photos are just beautiful. I love the view from the hotel LOL I'm so enjoying this. Have a real good time with you family in Wales :)

Beach Bum said...

I love New Orleans, was there several years ago before Katrina. The people and food are very special. Great pictures!

Valerie said...

Loved the pictures, even the one of the windowcleaners. I would have loved to visit New Orleans. I bet the music was great. Interesting about the attitude of insurance companies after Katrina, they certainly don't mind taking money so long as they don't have to hand it back. Hope your next holiday is good, thinking of the weather in that part of the world.

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

very nice! i love the photo of you two too! those dinner cruises are so much fun, i love to go!

smiles, bee

Akelamalu said...

The dinner cruise on the steamer was fabulous Thom and of course all the more special because it was on the Mississippi! I'm looking forward to our trip to Wales, I'll tell you all about it when we get back. :)

You are so right Beach New Orleans is very, very special. :)

The music was amazing in N'awlins Valerie, as was everything else! Insurance companies are the same the world over I think - keen to part you from your money but don't want to pay you out!

Glad you enjoyed it Bee, you're right the dinner cruise was great! :)

Finding Pam said...

I loved the tree sculpted from the tree. So true about the insurance companies, but so sad.

I hope you have a grand time in Wales seeing your family.

I enjoyed all of the photos. Love the French Square.

Daryl said...

I love N'awlins ... did you get to wander Magazine Street with all its fabulous shops?

Ron said...

Oooooo....this part 2 of your trip was faaaaaaaaaaabulous!!!!

Thank you so much for sharing the information and photos of the aftermath of Katrina. I was living in Florida at the time and remember all to well what the citizens of New Orleans went through. How sad.

LOVE the photo of you and MWM in front of the boat. The two of you look stunning. What lovely couple you make!

Also love the photos of the French Quarter. It reminded me of the movie Streetcar Named Desire!

Thank you so much for sharing this part of your trip, m'dear. I look forward to seeing more. Have a wonderful time on your holiday in Wales. How fun that sounds!

See you when you get back!


Maggie May said...

It all looks so splendid. Look at that guitar! And I love the hanging baskets from that house!
Looks like you had a really good time.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Sharon J said...

I'd love to visit the French Quarter. I have a thing about balconies! And dining on the steamer sounds fabulous. What an amazing trip this must have been.

Dianne said...

I love the shots of the French Quarter!!

have a great time on this next trip

Spiky Zora Jones said...

akelamalu: You take the best vacations. Yes you do...I love the pictures and yeah, you had a great view from your hotel view.

I've not ever beem to New Orleans but have always wanted to.

My sister always stops there on her way to visit my other sister in Florida.

After seeing your photos (my sis is not a photographer) I'm going.

Later sweetie. oh...Where are we going next? hehehe.

Linda said...

I've always wanted to take a cruise on a real Mississippi River Boat - maybe one of these days?

I was stationed at Keesler AFB in Biloxi way back when I was first in the Air Force and at that time they were still trying to recover from Hurricane Camille so when Katrina hit them again it really broke my heart for the whole region.

And you know what the really sad is, I was too young and stupid to know enough to go over and tour New Orleans when I was stationed down south! I'm sure glad that you went so that I could see it!

Mama Zen said...

What a fabulous trip! I can't wait to see more pictures.

Akelamalu said...

The sculpted trees were amazing Pam. I'm pleased you enjoyed the photos.

We did see Magazine Street and a whole lot more Daryl :)

It was eye opening to actually see the damage caused by Katrina Ron and we so felt for the people that were affected by it. Glad you enjoyed the photos m'dear, I'll have more for you when we get back from Wales. x

The guitar was just HUGE Maggie and yes, we did have a fabulous time.

The French Quarter was amazing Sharon and totally lived up to what we were expecting.

Thanks Dianne, glad you enjoyed the photos.

Oh you must go to New Orleans Spiky you would L.O.V.E. it!

What a shame you missed the opportunity to visit New Orleans Linda. Still you can put it on your 'to do' list, there's still time.

It was a fabulous trip Mama Zen, I'll have more photos for you soon.

tony said...

A Stunning Holiday:Stunning Photos.I Am So Jealous!!!! By The Way this is one of my favorite songs.

Mary C said...

Fabulous trip and pictures!
I don't think I would have returned Steven Tyler's clothing... just sayin'...
Love those French Quarter balconies!!!
Enjoy your holiday visit with your family.
(it's 'crystalchick' commenting from my jewelry blog)

Travis Cody said...

Sounds like you got a thorough taste of the Deep South.

Banker Chick said...

It certainly seems to be a great Holiday in the South. I am so looking forward to being able to travel after retirement. 7 more weeks. We are planning a trip to Memphis to visit family in October, and of course Graceland.

G-Man said...

I can't remember the last time that you were home and missed a 55.
Are you OK?

Julia Smith said...

Jony on the pony - LOL!!

WONDERFUL pictures, Akelamalu! I can't believe Elvis' army uniform was floating away - thank God someone found it and returned it.

Have fun in I-dream-of-going-there Wales.

Shrinky said...

OMG, I am so envious, I would just so love to visit New Orleans! You two make such a handsome couple, it's obvious you are having a fabulous time. That blue cow made me chuckle - a couple of years back local artists over here decorated a couple of dozen cows like that, and they were dotted all over the island - they were autioned off for charity in the end.

bindhiya said...

Dear Akelamalu,
nice to hear you had a wonderful trip.. if i know you came this far.. i should have visited...
but i had a blogging friend from Australia this week!
♥ & ((hugs))

Flowerpot said...

How amazing Ak!

Cloudia said...

your wonderful imagination has fuel for years of amazing amazing posts, I'm sure. Enjoy our dear friend!

Aloha from Waikiki :)

Comfort Spiral




Mimi Lenox said...

The trip wouldn't have been complete without a Dixieland Jazz Band! I am amazed at the sheer volume of places you got to see on your southern tour.
That is one fabulous picture of you and hubby.

The view from your hotel was awesome! And I love the balcony shots. So elegant and rich in history.

Can't wait for #3.

Tell me you ate grits.

Pranavam Ravikumar a.k.a. Kochuravi said...

Well written... Lovely pics too!

secret agent woman said...

I forgot you were going to be in the Southern part of the States. Sounds like a fun-packed trip.

snowelf said...

I have never been to New Orleans and hope to make my way there eventually. It's so nice to see the city through your eyes! :)

I hope your weather is cooperating!! It's ridiculously hot here--not that I'm complaining! ;)


Akelamalu said...

It was indeed a stunning holiday Tony, I hope you'll tune in for the rest of it.

I know what you mean about Steve Tyler's clothing MaryC ;)

We did indeed Trav!

One of the best things about retirement is the travelling Bankerchick! You'll love Graceland BTW. :)

We have been away G-man, just got back on Friday (yesterday).

That made me laugh too Julia. So glad you enjoyed the pics of the South, wait until you see the pics of Wales!

Thankyou Shrinky :) The cow reminded me of Manchester's Cow Parade some years ago when they did the same thing - had them all over the city centre then auctioned them off. I wanted one for the garden but they were far too expensive for me!

We did have a wonderful trip Bindi, shame we weren't able to meet up.

It was indeed Flowerpot :)

Thanks Cloudia :)

Of course the cruise just had to have a jazz band Mimi. So glad you like the photos. We saw so much on the trip, it was go, go, go all the time!

Thanks Kochuravi :)

Shame we didn't meet up SAW :(

Akelamalu said...

The weather was great Snowelf!

Crazy Working Mom said...

Great fun! I ♥ N'awlins!!! I've not been since Katrina, but it was beautiful before and LOTS to do. :)

Akelamalu said...

I wish we could have visit before Katrina too Tisha but it is still beautiful. :)